McArthur’s Pick

Donna Tadelman

Basie Allen

Benjamin Giska

Carole Harris

Fernão Cruz

John Phillips

02.09.2022 | 01.10.2022

For his curatorial debut at MASSIMODECARLO’s VSpace, McArthur Binion has chosen Basie Allen, Fernão Cruz, Benjamin Giska, Carole Harris, John Phillips and Donna Tadelman; 6 artists working in diverse mediums, from different generations, giving us a glimpse into his personal taste, and his vision of the artworld today.

Presented together for the first time, the exhibition reveals these artists’ shared virtuosity in composition, tact with color and optimism. From Carole Harris’ complex large-scale quilted works to Donna Tadelman’s compact minimalist abstractions, the exhibition is as bright as it is poetic.

Bursting with gestural energy, Two Vows (Number 18) by Basie Allen is an abstract composition combining acrylic, oil stick, tarp transfer and newspaper print. The two-panel work is part of his Two vows series, which hides Twombly-esque handwritten messages between the various layers of paint. Hand in hand with Allen’s poetics, Carole Harris composes her quilt wall sculptures with a similar awareness of gesture and movement by combining patterns, stitches, and textures. The works’ titles, such as The Time When or Got a Right to Be, are as evocative of deeper, personal meaning as they are brightly intricate.

Benjamin Giska, Donna Tadelman and John Phillips create a symbiotic trio: their abstract paintings are a contrast to the exhibition’s textured works. Each one heralding its own geometrics, Blue, Stardust and D-Town are three iterations of the possibilities of abstraction: a direct treatment of color (Blue), an interpretation of existing forms (Stardust) or a representation of a place (D-Town). Their color blocking, geometric combinations offer powerful, dense, and controlled compositions within the frames of their canvases.

Finally, Fernão Cruz’s There’s always a way out, presents a textured, almost fleshy, brightly lit door basking in golden light. With darker marks that appear to be the viewer’s own shadow, offering our way out of the exhibition.